StepStone Hospitality fills CEO position

StepStone Hospitality's management portfolio includes the Ocean Surf Hotel in Miami Beach, Fla. Photo credit: StepStone Hospitality

StepStone Hospitality, a management company specializing in hotel, restaurant, and renovation management, announced the promotion of Blair Wills to president and CEO. In this expanded role, Wills is charged with leading the team in maximizing value in StepStone’s existing management properties as well as the growth of the StepStone portfolio. Founder Tom Russo will continue in his role as chairman with a focus on strategic direction and development. 

Blair Wills
Photo credit: StepStone Hospitality

“Over the past 10 years, Blair has been instrumental in guiding and implementing the growth of StepStone Hospitality, skillfully combining asset management and operational knowledge in fulfilling his previous role as president and COO,” Russo said. “Anyone who has ever met Blair instantly appreciates his understated, yet collaborative and steady leadership style, which has garnered confidence from a wide range of ownership clients as well as helped foster a cohesive leadership team. With Blair in this new role, we look forward to continuing our growth trajectory and delivering superior results to our owners while maintaining our strong company culture.” 

Wills spent the previous 10 years as StepStone’s president and COO. Before joining StepStone, he spent eight years in multiple asset management roles with hotelAVE, first as an analyst, working his way up to vice president, responsible for the asset management of a portfolio including multiple branded and independent hotels. Additional professional experience includes serving as an analyst at the Plasencia Group and as a member of the Leisure, Lodging and Gaming Equity Research team at Deutsche Banc Alex Brown. 

“I am honored to be part of the StepStone Hospitality family and humbled to take on this expanded role,” Wills said. “I look forward to continuing to work with our StepStone team members who show incredible resolve and focus day in and day out, and building on the strong foundation already in place. We, as a team, remain focused on executing on our ownership’s goals and objectives and driving results.”

Wills earned a bachelor of arts degree from Michigan State University School of Hospitality Business with an emphasis in finance.

As of Dec. 31, 2019, StepStone had 2,808 guestrooms and 15 properties in its portfolio.